A new social network, Peach, launched on the iPhone back in January and quickly became something of an overnight hit. Peach is the word of one of Vine’s co-founders, Dom Hofmann, and is a status-sharing social network that has already gained some traction, as some large websites have started using the service to provide news updates: the Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune started using Peach shortly after the service was launched. When setting up the service, users can either add people they know via the slightly unnerving address book scan (providing you give it permission, and the Peach application supports Android Marshmallow’s advanced permissions model). Alternatively, one can follow suggestions from the application.
Much of the interaction on Peach consists of poking another user and firing animated GIFs in their direction, which may explain Twitter’s recent improvement in the animated GIF area. When using Peach, a chat window appears and into here, users type in their message. To activate the GIF picker, simply type “gif” and let the application do the rest. The term “gif” is an example of Peach’s “Magic Words” technology, which is a fun system of sending information between users. Other Magic Words include “shout,” which presents a message in very large letters. “Throwback” picks a random photograph from your device and bundles in the date and time when it was taken. “Draw” is used to put the application into freehand drawing mode, where as expected one may doodle or sketch onto the application. “Song” can be used to put your device into a track recognition mode, and once the track has been identified one may share it with everybody. “Play” is used to initiate “Peachup,” a game bundled into Peach, “rate” is used to rate things between one to five, plus many other “Magic Words.”
Some of the enthusiasm for Peach has died down since the initial release for iOS, but the social network has captured the imagination of many users and the application being released for the Android platform may invigorate things. It’s available free on the Google Play Store and the developers write that they read every review in order to improve the application – sending GIFs is great fun as is checking out the other “Magic Words.”